Irfan Pathan Shreyas Iyer-Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya

Credit: X

The former Indian cricketer, Irfan Pathan, took a shot at Hardik Pandya after Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were omitted from BCCI’s annual central contracts list. The 39-year-old spoke about how Hardik Pandya didn’t play a Ranji Trophy match despite achieving full fitness recently, but he was retained on a central contract unlike Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan.

Irfan Pathan stated that Indian cricket “won’t achieve the desired results,” if players like Hardik Pandya and others, who aren’t interested in playing red-ball cricket, won’t participate in the white-ball domestic cricket while not being on national duty. Notably, as per the BCCI statement, “Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were not considered for the annual contracts in this round of recommendations” after they didn’t give precedence to participating in domestic cricket as per their directive earlier this month.

Ishan Kishan made his return to cricket during the DY Patil T20 tournament just a couple of days ago after opting to take a break citing mental fatigue over two months ago, not playing for Jharkhand in Ranji Trophy a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer, who was excluded from the Indian squad after the second Test earlier this month due to lack of form, didn’t make himself available for Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy quarter-final match just a few days ago.

Irfan backs Iyer and Kishan to "come back stronger"

Moreover, Irfan Pathan also called Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan “talented cricketers” in his recent post on the official X account, hoping for them to make a strong comeback to cricket. His post read, “They are talented cricketers, both Shreyas and Ishan. Hoping they bounce back and come back stronger. If players like Hardik don’t want to play red-ball cricket, should he and others like him participate in white-ball domestic cricket when they aren’t on national duty? If this doesn’t apply to all, then Indian cricket won’t achieve the desired results!”

Ishan Kishan is set to play for Mumbai Indians in the IPL next month after competing in the DY Patil T20 tournament, while Shreyas Iyer is going to participate in the semi-final match of the Ranji Trophy for Mumbai before he captains Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian franchise T20 league in a few weeks.